Houses of Glass, Transparent Bodies: How New Technologies Affect Inviolability of the Home and Bodily Integrity in the Dutch Constitution
Posted: 28 Feb 2009
Date Written: October 1, 2007
Since time immemorial, the inviolability of the home has protected people's freedom to behave as they like in their own homes. In addition, bodily integrity is an essential fundamental right allowing citizens to do what they want with their own body. Technological developments in ICT and DNA research form a threat to these fundamental rights that current legal protection may be inadequate to stop. An increasing number of technologies are being used in the home and in the bodies of individuals, connecting them to the outside, which means that the traditional border between inside and outside is becoming blurred. Furthermore, more and more possibilities are emerging that allow us to 'see' things inside, straight through walls and clothing. What effect will these technologies have on the legal protection of home and body - in particular the protection against government surveillance? In this article, the authors analyse these issues from the perspective of the Dutch Constitution to illustrate how the current legal protection of home and body threatens to fall short in light of new technologies. This analysis of the Dutch situation may be useful for other countries when they review constitutional rights in light of new technologies.
Keywords: constitutional rights, privacy, bodily integrity, domotics, cyborg, Netherlands
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